The NFL draft in Philly was an overwhelming success by almost any measure — economics, football awareness or even peace and civility.
But one takeaway from anyone on Ben Franklin Parkway or watching at home on TV is that Eagles fans know how to boo.
They booed Roger Goodell, the booed any and all Cowboys picks, they booed Giants fans and Redskins fans. Patriots fans got some hate. Vikings fans took some heat for their team’s decision to trade for Sam Bradford. Forty-niners fans were forced to eat some crow for their dalliance with former Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. No one in the NFL seemed immune.
The Philadelphia sports fan is a unique mix of optimistic and fatalistic. They’ve had enough success — the 2000-2008 Andy Reid-led Eagles, the 2008-2011 Phillies, the 2001 76ers, the 2010 Flyers — to have tasted some success but have been stuck in the mud just as often. They are in the sweet spot for hatred. If a city’s teams are too good — like Boston — there’s really no point in hating lesser teams that rarely measure up. If your teams are atrocious all the time — like Buffalo, Cincinnati or San Diego — there isn’t much motivation to bring the hate.
So without much football to watch or write about for a few months, here’s a look at the 10 teams Eagles fans should hate the most:
Perhaps the biggest no-brainer in the NFL, Eagles and Cowboys fans do not get along. The hatred is deep and it is mutual. Philly is just 50-62 in 112 regular season meetings and 1-3 in the playoffs, giving Dallas the upper hand. It will be exciting to watch the rivalry grow into a new generation as Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott get set to duel again for a second season.
The Eagles have faced no NFL team as often as they’ve faced the Giants, and in 164 regular season meetings the teams are seperated by less than 80 points (3,131-to- 3,209 in favor of New York). The squads have split four playoff games and have played two Miracles in the Meadowlands. A strong hatred for Eli Manning has also fueled the fire in recent years.
The fact that Washington’s football team has a controversial name doesn’t help their cause in the eyes of hating Eagles fans, who abhor their NFC East rivals to the south. The departure of DeSean Jackson — who signed with the Bucccaneers this offseason — will lessen the rivalry a tad in 2017.
Super Bowl XXXIX was the Eagles’ only trip to the title game since 1980 and a 24-21 loss to Tom Brady and the Patriots left a sore spot in the hearts of Birds fans. Revelations later of a spygate scandal that resulted in fines has only increased animosity.
Cross state rivals the Penguins and Flyers have a little more heat to their beef, but fans of the Steelers and their six Super Bowls (in contrast to Philly’s zero) always torture lifelong Eagles fans.
A bitter setback to Jon Gruden’s Bucs in 2003 derailed one of Philly’s best teams ever (12-4).
The Eagles have lost three in a row and five of their last six to Seattle and will face them again in 2017. Before drafting Carson Wentz, Eagles fans were envious of the Seahawks’ move to take Russell Wilson before Philly had its shot.
A very old wound, Philly lost in Super Bowl XV as Ron Jaworski failed to lift the Eagles past Jon Madden’s Raiders. These teams play on Christmas in 2017.
Though they are currently in a rebuild stage, it’s a safe bet Eagles fans are still sour about the Birds’ most recent playoff loss, a first round defeat at the hands of New Orleans.
Philly has only ever beaten Aaron Rodgers once (in 2013) and is 1-5 in their last six games against the storied franchise.